Friday, March 1, 2013

Ready for Some Creamed Spinach?

What can I say? Creamed spinach is a household favorite. But I've jazzed it up now--all because of last weekend.

Not pretty, but it sure tastes good.
Last weekend I visited Ayse Mezze Lounge in Frederick, MD and had many bites of fabulous food. One of my favorites, one I wanted to recreate, was a creamed spinach with feta dish (side dish on most delicious lamb chops)...I did a decent job here, but I left out the bacon (It wasn't bacon they used, but something called sucuk (pronounced soo-jook) so Bryn would eat it--but I won't leave it out next time...In fact, I think I will use linguica sausage (since I have no clue where I can find sucuk). I liked my version, although I missed the sucuk, and mine had a lot more spinach to bechamel ratio than the version at Ayse.

Barb's Creamed Spinach with Feta (inspired by Ayse)

1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch cayenne
1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/4 cup flour
2 cups warm milk (I used skim....bec. that's what I have)
1 20-ounce bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed  and squeezed dry
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 ounces feta cheese

1. Heat butter and oil in large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened. (If using sucuk/bacon/linguica, add it here and cook it with onion.) Stir in garlic, cayenne and oregano and cook another minute. Sprinkle flour over all and stir to coat vegetables.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Slowly add warm milk, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring each time until no lumps are left. Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat. (Now you have bechamel sauce).
3. Stir spinach and lemon juice into bechamel. Continue cooking and stirring until heated through.
4. Crumble feta cheese and stir into hot spinach mixture. Serve immediately.

This serves about 8 (reasonably generous portions).

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